After reading Yankee Magazine’s recent article on the “Secret Beaches of Rhode Island,” I began to think about which beach in the Wells area was my favorite. Some people love Drake’s Island Beach with its long sandy beach ideal for walking and others love the hustle and bustle of Ogunquit’s Beach Street Beach with adequate parking (most of the time), toilet facilities, and restaurants. But I love the Wells Harbor Beach the best.
You can get there by going north from Summer Village on Route One. Go through four sets of lights and then take the 1st right onto Harbor Road. Just before you get to the boatyard and town dock, take a right and you’ll come upon a circular road with a Gazebo in the middle. Go to the top of the circle and you’ll see a lower parking lot on your right (or left, if you came in the other way). Park your car and find the opening in the sea grass, walk down the path and you’re there.
It’s a small beach and there’s not much sand to sit on at high tide but it’s wonderful for children at mid- and low-tide. There are lots of sand bars and tidal pools with crabs. Around the time of the full moon, an adult can even walk (with maybe a little swimming) across to the more frequented Wells Beach. Around the north corner of the beach is a deck that let’s you get off the sand and have a dry place to eat lunch. Or you can go up to the covered picnic area and eat lunch in the shade. If the kids get tired of the water, there’s a playground area with lots of things to swing on, climb on, and jump on. Or walk over to the town dock floats and take the kids crabbing. All you need is a little string, something for the crabs to grab on (like an onion bag), and a little bait (sold at the boatyard store). There are also public toilet facilities next to the boatyard.
I really like this little beach. The people are friendly, it’s less crowded than most beaches around and most of all, parking is free.